Evangelicals are up in arms over a recent statement made by Adele about Beyoncé. Here’s what Adele had to say:
“Beyonce is the most inspiring person I’ve ever had the pleasure of worshipping. Her talent, beauty, grace and work ethic are all in a league of their own. I appreciate you so much! Thank god for Beyoncé X.”
According to CHARISMA writer Jessilyn Justice, Adele’s Instagram post proves that “idol worship is very much a reality.” Justice bolsters her claim with several comments from indignant Evangelicals on Adele’s Instagram page:
“Lowercased g, upper cased B? Only God is to be worshipped, artists are to be admired.”
” _______wrote that Adele’s caption has a lowered case g in God.. When referencing God, it’s always capital G..her worshipping Beyonce this way is disrespectful to God and all those who believe in Him and Jesus Christ,” wrote on fan.
“She’s now saying that Beyoncé is a god . Can worship people and things and not hold them to the level of God . Do you know what worship means ?”
“!!THESE DEVIL WORSHIPPERS ARE STARTING TO THINK THEY’RE GODS,ITS TIME TO STOP THEM BEFORE ITS TOO LATE…WAKE (expletive) UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS ALL UR FAULT FOR IDIOLZING THEM THE WAY YALL DO…WAKE (expletive) UP!!!!!!!!!!THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT THINK THEY ARE GODS ….WAKE (expletive) UP!!!!!WHAT MORE PROOF DO U NEED.”
Ah yes, each new day brings Evangelicals numerous opportunities to express their indignation and outrage. What I find so amazing about these comments is that they assume that there is only one God — theirs — and that Adele’s use of the word lower g god was a direct attack on the name of the Christian God. Adele is not religious. I found no evidence on the internet for Adele ever making a public statement about God, Christianity, or religion in general. One website pointed to a 2015 Rolling Stone interview in which Adele purportedly said that she is not religious. However, I could not find the interview on Rolling Stone’s website. That said, in the course of looking for this interview I read several other Rolling Stone articles that quoted Adele. These articles clearly show that Adele’s two favorite words are God and fuck, with fuck being the runaway winner in the favorite word race.
Evidently, Evangelicals are okay with what they call the “F word,” but using the word “God” incorrectly is considered a mortal sin. And evidently, even spelling “god” incorrectly is considered a serious infraction of God’s vocabulary Code®. Spend any amount of time around Evangelicals and you will find out that the quickest way to get their backs up is to use the word God in way they consider disrespectful (yet these same Evangelicals ridicule Muslims for doing the same). Some Evangelicals even go so far as to police public speech, correcting and admonishing people who dare to use the name of the Christian God (and Jesus) inappropriately. Here’s a short list of usages Evangelicals disapprove of:
- Saying God like GAWD
- Saying Lord Almighty like LORD ALMIGHTY!
- Saying Jesus like JESUS!
- Saying Jesus Christ like JESUS CHRIST!
- Saying Jesus H. Christ
- Saying Jesus Fucking Christ
- Saying Jesus, Joseph, and Mary
- Saying Goddamn
- Saying God dammit
Utter these words in front of certain Evangelicals and you will likely get a self-righteous look of rebuke. Continue taking the “Lord’s name in vain” and some Evangelicals might even publicly call you out. I have known Evangelicals to even complain to their employers about their fellow employees’ offensive speech. Picture a toddler stomping his feet and saying, Mommy, make them stop! Of course, when their fellow employees find out about them going to the boss, guess what happens? That’s right. More taking the Lord’s name in vain. I learned this years ago when I worked for ARO Corporation in Bryan, Ohio. Newly married and filled with “Godly” zeal, I went to the plant manager and complained about the handful of pornographic (Playboy) pictures that were on display here and there on the factory floor. The plant manager “heard” my complaint and did nothing. The next afternoon, guess what I found taped to the front of my machine? That’s right, a picture of a naked woman. This went on for several days, long enough for me to understand that I should mind my own business. So it is with Evangelicals who get their panties in a knot when people profane the name of their God.
Evangelicals expect preferential treatment in the workplace, and often become outraged and offended when people refuse to play by their rules. I wonder if they ever bother to see things from the perspective on non-Evangelicals? My daughter works for a company where her job requires her to work in proximity with a handful of people. Her supervisor is an Evangelical. In her department they are permitted to play the radio. Guess what station is on every day? The local Evangelical Christian station. For eight hours each day, my daughter is forced to listen to atrocious Christian music, talk shows, and sermons. She could complain, resulting in the radio being removed from her department. Instead, she says nothing. My daughter has learned to tune out what she certainly considers “profane speech.” Evangelicals upset at Adele should do the same.
Evangelicals need to understand that for the nonreligious, words like God and Jesus are just that — words. If Evangelicals don’t like hearing (or reading) people use words that they deem offensive, then they should avoid people who use such words. Or they can grow up and quit throwing juvenile temper tantrums every time someone uses a word on God’s vocabulary Code®. Evangelicals need to stop expecting non-believers to play by their rules. I am an atheist, and when I say God dammit, I am not asking for the Evangelical God to damn the subject of my tirade. Last night, the Cincinnati Reds bullpen blew yet another game. When the relief pitcher gave up the lead, I said, in a voice that I am sure my neighbors could hear, REALLY? GOD DAMMIT! ARE WE E-V-E-R GOING TO WIN A GAME? Sometimes, I get texts from several of my sons expressing similar sentiments. None of us is calling on the Christian God when we use such language.
I am sure this post will do little to sway Evangelicals from their view of language. Like my wife in the morning needing several cups of black coffee, many Evangelicals need a cup of outrage to get them through the day. (Please see Christian Swear Words.)
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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